This intense sequence . . . encapsulates many of the strongest qualities of Elem Klimov’s film, in particular its ability to shift tone, visual perspective and viscerally approximate the physical, mental, social and cultural conditions of life in Nazi-occupied Byelorussia in 1943. The young woman’s look back at this image of horror, almost Biblical or medieval in its intensity and scale, rhymes with many other looks, gazes and shifts of scale and perspective which dot and define the film.
May 03, 2000